Monday, June 16, 2008

Do it Yourself and Save (money not time)

Evan decided that he wanted to strip his computer down to the factory settings. He has a Dell laptop that he plays a lot of games on and I really thought that he just worn out the hard drive. This is the computer that we bought him for memorizing II Timothy. We ran a complete scan on the hard drive (using the F12 button to run diagnostics) and all came out fine. His hard drive isn't going out. The computer had a ton of bugs in it and wouldn't start up or shut down or do most of anything else without a problem. I said, he decided to strip it down.

This wasn't a well thought out plan. Josh bought a new laptop (Dell) with Windows Vista on it and he's had to go back to factory settings twice with it due to viruses corrupting his files. He gets on way too many instant messaging kicks, but that's beside the point.

Evan and I figured that if Josh could go back to factory settings just fine, so should we. Doesn't work that way. Josh has Vista, Evan has XP. We got the hard drive back to factory settings and then we had a screen come up that said, "PBR1...Done. Loading DRMK Version 8.00..." That's it. Just blue screen other than the words. Nothing could move us from this screen. It was stuck for hours, literally. Turn off the computer and then back on...still on that screen.

I decided that I was going nuts trying to figure this out so I told Evan we'd have to let it rest a while and do something else. We wed the garden, did laundry, mopped floors, etc. Then I decided we'd assess the situation once more.

To get the guys at Alpine Computers to fix the computer, we'd have to pay $60. Neither one of us has that much extra cash waiting to be spent. I decided to read up on chat boards until I was confident enough to fix the problem. It took me 2 hours of reading, guessing, pressing buttons, wanting to give up....then VOILA! Something worked! Evan's computer is like brand new and tonight he's updating Windows. It shuts down fine, boots up fine, the whole works.

Here's the deal. There was a partition messed up and I had to bypass something with that (supposed to do automatically but couldn't because of the bad partition). Dell doesn't give XP cd's with their computers. BAD! Thankfully, I had a copy of Windows XP from another older computer. We repaired the XP that was already on the computer by putting the cd in the drive and quickly hitting F2 as soon as the computer booted and the Dell screen came up. From there we could choose to boot by cd drive. Then the thing wouldn't totally work right away, but somehow it finally finished and fixed it all.

The whole process was maybe 2 hours, possibly a bit more, but it was a lot of hours of headache and fear that we'd destroyed this computer. The best thing is that we didn't have to shell out $60. My point of all of this is to tell you to be sure to check out all options of repairing things yourself before you pay someone else to do what you can do. Be confident in your abilities. You can do more than you think.


bethanyrae said...

OK...I'm like, totally awestruck! You'll have to come over sometime!~

FromThe Creek said...

Sounds like me trying to figure out the many rejected computers that we have acquired. I get to a point that I just want to throw the thing out! Then, something (unknown) works and all is well...

Christine said...

I'm impressed... I usually freak out if the computer goes nuts on me. haha